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September 10, 2015


Welcome back and thanks for joining us...

This week we bring you several releases from the PHP.net team - PHP 5.4.45, 5.5.29 and 5.6.13, plus the seventh pre-release of the new PHP 7 major series 7.0.0.RC 2, all available immediately.

So, with the release of PHP 7 edging nearer, we take a look at the coolest features and things you need to know.

Also this week we have Part 2 of the Sentiment Analysis tutorial, putting into practice implementing a sentiment analysis application.

Plus we have the second screencast from the Three Devs and a Maybe team, all about developing a resizeable-indexed array as a PHP extension.

And finally, the 7PHP team interviewed Jeremy Lindblom of the Seattle PHP User group, discussing the origin of the PNWPNP Conference.

Have a great weekend,

Cheers
Katie and Ade

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Articles

PHP Summer Camp Review
Having attended this years PHP Summer Camp last month, Bruno Skvorc from the SitePoint team brings us the lowdown on the whole event.

Top 5 Performance Metrics to Capture in Enterprise PHP Applications
This article reviews five of the top performance metrics to capture to assess the health of your enterprise PHP application.

PHP 7 Coolest Features - Five Things You Must Know About PHP 7
Are you looking for the latest status, news, articles, features or updates about the newest version after PHP 5.X? After a long voting process by the community, the name for the next major PHP version has been finalised! The winning proposal is to call the latest major version PHP 7.

Why Microframeworks Lead to Lean Applications
Matthew Setter recently built a new application using SlimPHP, a PHP microframework, instead of a full-stack framework, such as Symfony or Zend Framework 2. In this post he discusses how taking this approach has lead to a leaner application design.

TDD Is Not Dead
So, where does this whole TDD is DEAD thing came from? Well, it all started with let's say a provocative talk and follow up blog post by David Heinemeier Hansson (@DHH) where he expressed his frustration with testing and put into question the value of TDD. TDD is not dead, not really. And it won't really ever be dead, it will change or be replaced with something better.

Tutorials and Talks

The ElasticSearch cat APIs
ElasticSearch is a great piece of open source technology. Although it was built as a Lucene based search engine, it can do more than just that. It’s an awesome analytics engine, but it’s also a pretty good NoSQL database. Interacting with ElasticSearch happens through the REST API and the output is JSON. JSON is cool, JSON is fun, but it’s not really made for human readable output. That’s where the cat APIs come into play.

Sentiment Analysis in PHP Part 2: Applying the Solution in Practice
In the first part of this article we learned about the theory of analysing a text to determine the sentiments expressed by the user that wrote it. Read this article to learn to how to implement a sentiment analysis application in practice based on the PHP Sentiment Analyzer class.

Voice Controlled PHP apps With API.ai
In this tutorial we’ll be looking into Api.ai, an API that lets us build apps which understand natural language, much like Siri. It can accept either text or speech as input, which it then parses and returns a JSON string that can be interpreted by the code that we write. All the files we’ll use in this tutorial are available in this Github repository.

Setting Up Airbrake With Monolog
Integrating Monolog and Airbrake is fairly painless. The hardest part is navigating a lot of deprecated packages for Airbrake that still rank higher in searches than the currently supported API airbrake/phpbrake. This package, as well as being an API to contact Airbrake, also ships with a handler for Monolog.

In Eloquent We Trust, or Don’t Assume Find() Always Finds Something
This short lesson will be both about Laravel and about general software development. One of the most often and common mistakes made by developers is not checking input data. And then not only do you get random errors of something “not found”, but sometimes much worse – expose your system to vulnerabilities and attacks. So let’s discuss that with examples from Eloquent world.

Improved Error Handling in Slim 3 RC1
From RC1 of Slim 3, we have improved our error handling. 

Enforcing Enclosure with League\Csv
It is common knowledge that PHP’s fputcsv function does not allow enforcing the enclosure on every field. Using League CSV and PHP stream filter features let me show you how to do so step by step.

Working with PHP and MongoDB
MongoDB is an open-source document database that provides high performance, high availability and automatic scaling. MongoDB is also a cross-platform document-oriented database, classified as a NoSQL database. MongoDB tries to avoid the traditional table-based relational database structure in favour of JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas (MongoDB calls the format BSON), making the integration of data in certain types of applications easier and faster.

Re-introducing PDO – the Right Way to Access Databases in PHP
PDO is the acronym of PHP Data Objects. As the name implies, this extension gives you the ability to interact with your database through objects. 

Migrating a WordPress Site, The Easy Way
Sometimes you may want, or need, to move a WordPress website. It may be to move it to a new hosting provider or from a private development server to a public one. It can be done manually by following a few steps that involve accessing the servers, copying all the files and the database across, plus a few other things like changing some things in the database or the wp-config.php file.

Is Your Database Password Stored Safely?
How do you protect your access data? Your sensitive secrets, basically anything your PHP application uses to authenticate or authorise with other services such as databases, caches, cloud storages, image resize services, and transactional mail providers. All of them. Where do you put this - easily accessible while in development and secure for production?

The Beginners Guide to WooCommerce: Adding a Grouped Product
As we all know by now, WooCommerce allows you to add products which can be categorised as Simple, Grouped, External/Affiliate and Variable. In the previous article I explained in detail the procedure with which you can add a Simple Product. Today, I will discuss how you can add a Grouped Product in WooCommerce.

New ACL features in Laravel 5.1.11
Since the Laravel 5.1.11 release it is providing some great new authorisation features. Let's dive right in.
News and Announcements

PHP 5.4.45 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.45. Ten security-related issues were fixed in this release. All PHP 5.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 5.5.29 is available
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.29. This is a security release. Many security-related issues were fixed in this release. All PHP 5.5 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 5.6.13 is available
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.13. 11 security-related issues were fixed in this release. All PHP 5.6 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

PHP 7.0.0 RC 2 Released
The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.0 RC 2. This is the seventh pre-release of the new PHP 7 major series. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs and incompatibilities in the bug tracking system.

Silex 1.3.3 Released
I've just released Silex 1.3.3. This release is a bit special as Silex 1.3 is now compatible with ALL Symfony versions (from 2.3 to 2.8 and the upcoming 3.0 version) but also with ALL Twig versions (from 1.8 to 1.21 and the upcoming 2.0 version).

It's Here! A Belated Birthday Gift for Joomla!
We are happy to announce the launch of the upgraded joomla.org website. Over the past two weeks we’ve been hard at work to upgrade joomla.org to the latest version. We like to call it a belated birthday gift to Joomla.

WordCamp - September 12th 2015, Baltimore
A one day conference for WordPress users, there are still some tickets on sale.

Symfony Live London - September 17-18th 2015, London
With over 300 engineers, developers and IT professionals, SymfonyLive London 2015 has something special in store. This year not only marks the fourth year of SymfonyLive London, but is also the 10th birthday of the Symfony framework itself. We’ll be celebrating with a stellar line-up of speakers from the community, a birthday social to end all birthday socials, and a limited edition Symfony elePHPant. Some tickets are still available.

PHP Conference Asia - September 22nd-23rd 2015, Singapore
A new conference has been announced - PHP Conference Asia, the first Pan Asian PHP conference. With Rasmus Lerdorf already confirmed as a speaker, Early Bird Tickets are still available until next week.

PHP UnConference Europe - May 28-29th 2016, Majorca
In its 5th year, tickets are already available for the 2016 PHP UnConference. Further details to follow.

Podcasts

Voices of the ElePHPant - Interview with Keith Casey
This week Cal Evans chats with Keith Casey, of Austin API.

Acquia Podcast: Constantly Not Reinventing The Wheel - Drupal and the Agency
The co-founder of Blue-Bag, George Boobyer, has been in the business of making websites and online applications longer than Drupal has been in existence. In this conversation, we talk about why Drupal is his toolset of choice and how happy he is that PHP and Drupal 8 are catching up with object oriented code, interoperability, and other factors that will make his work for his clients even better.

MageTalk Magento Podcast #58 - We Heard You Like Dropshipping So We Put Some Logic in Your Broker
Phillip continues the IRCE interview series with Peyman Zamani of Logicbroker.

Run Geek Radio Podcast: Episode #8 - Escaping PHP Variables Forgotten
Escaping variables in PHP is as important as ever, and developers can sometimes forget about it when using a modern framework. Adam Culp, the host of Run Geek Radio, talks a little about common pitfalls and how to handle them. Also covered is the ZendCon and SunshinePHP preparations and status of Adam speaking at some other upcoming conferences. Plus a brief update on the running front and training.

PHP Round Table Podcast Episode 30 - SOA and Microservices
SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is an architecture that shifts our focus from one big monolithic web app to smaller connected web apps. We discuss what an SOA app looks like in the real world and how it affects our codebases, deployment & DevOps.

Free The Geek Podcast: Episode 4 - Wisdom as a Service World Tour and Human Skills - with Yitzchok Willroth
In this episode, I have a fireside chat with Yitzchok Willroth, the one and only coderabbi, about his Wisdom as a Service World Tour. We talk about what it's like to run the tour, the time involved, the energy required, and how it's been received. We also talk about the value of human skills (otherwise known as soft skills), the value of getting up and sharing your knowledge with the community, via public speaking, and much, much more. A big shout out to Troy Hunt and Lorna Jane for the excellent blog posts I drew on for this episode. Thanks folks!

Reading and Viewing

Laracasts - Better PHP Workflow
If you're predominantly writing PHP in Sublime Text, there are a number of tricks you can use to rapidly improve your workflow.

Developing a Resizable-Indexed Array as a PHP Extension with Joe Watkins
This follows on from our first screencast which touched upon how to setup a PHP extension development environment and creating a simple 'array_sum' like function. We now further this topic by implementing a resizable-indexed array class which supplies very similar functionality to that of the SplFixedArray class. Throughout this discussion we look into creating a custom Zend object class, using this to invoke an implemented data-structure located in another file, implementing internal interfaces, object handlers and the importance of PHP extension tests.

10 Productive PHP Tools for Testing and Debugging
There's more to testing than just unit testing. Here are 10 wide-ranging testing and debugging utilities that can make the PHP developer's life much easier.

Mastering jQuery Mobile Paperback (by Chip Lambert and Shreerang Patwardhan, published 30th Jul 2015)
Design and develop cutting-edge mobile web applications using jQuery Mobile to work across a number of platforms.

Pacific Northwest PHP Conference - Sneak Glance At The Pre-Event!
An interview with Jeremy Lindblom, president of the Seattle PHP User Group, all about the PNWPNP Conference - how it came about and when it was launched.

Generating PDFs with PHP and FPDF (and TCPDF) – (by Nicholas A Sutton, published 10th Aug 2015)
Thought-provoking and accessible in approach, this updated and expanded second edition of the Generating PDFs with PHP and FPDF (and TCPDF) provides a user-friendly introduction to the subject. Taking a clear structural framework, it guides the reader through the subject's core elements.

Jobs

Do you have a position that you would like to fill? PHP Weekly is ideal for targeting developers and the cost is only $50/week for an advert.  Please let me know if you are interested by emailing me at katie@phpweekly.com

Interesting Projects, Tools and Libraries

nosh-core
NOSH ChartingSystem is an electronic health record system designed for doctors in mind. 

upload
Framework agnostic upload handler library.

php-mongo
Object Document Mapper for MongoDB.

cform
A PHP-class to create, render and validate submitted HTML-forms.

neptune
A PHP 5.4+ framework built on the Symfony HttpKernel.

phpci
PHPCI is a free and open source continuous integration tool specifically designed for PHP.

swap
Exchange rates library for PHP.

php.skeleton
CI ready PHP project skeleton.

alerter
An easy way to manage user alerting, providing a variety of alert options to speed up user alerting.

confetti
Streaming data transformation system for PHP.

phake
Phake is a framework for PHP that aims to provide mock objects, test doubles and method stubs.

unirest-php
Unirest is a set of lightweight HTTP libraries available in multiple languages, ideal for most applications.

jackalope
Jackalope implements the PHPCR API.

gatekeeper
A simple PHP authentication and authorisation library.

kendo
PHP wrapper for Kendo UI widgets.

growl
This package aims to provide an easy and fluent interface to construct and execute commands for various desktop notification programs.
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